UAAP Volleyball Player of the Week: Jaja Santiago
Jaja Santiago of National University named ABS-CBN Sportsí UAAP Volleyball Player of the Week from February 10 to 14.
With renewed confidence after a forgettable start in the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, Jaja Santiago is now delivering the numbers expected of her.
The 6-foot-5 Santiago led the National University’s surge in the week that was as the Lady Bulldogs got back on the right track in their campaign to pocket the elusive crown.
The third year middle blocker averaged 13.5 points in the Sampaloc-based squad’s twin victories midway to the first round of eliminations.
All her efforts gave her the distinction as ABS-CBN Sports’ UAAP Volleyball Player of the Week from February 10 to 14.
Santiago shone brightest last Wednesday in the Lady Bulldogs’ huge upset win against De La Salle University, 25-16, 26-24, 14-25, 25-23, for the team’s second of three straight victories after absorbing a three-set loss at the hands of the two-time defending champion Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles.
She was a solid sentinel in front of the net actively erecting a wall to deny or disrupt the attacks of the power-hitting Lady Spikers. Santiago teamed up with Jorelle Singh and Myla Pablo to form a three-headed monster that devoured the erstwhile undefeated DLSU.
The troika each scored 16 points with Santiago posting three kill blocks for NU.
Santiago, a national team mainstay, had a fitting follow up to the Lady Bulldogs’ morale-boosting win over the Lady Spikers with an 11-point performance in a quick 25-12, 25-13, 25-16 drubbing of listless University of the East on Valentine’s Day Sunday.
NU improved its record to 3-1 to climb on second spot tied with the Lady Spikers.
In spite of her big role in the Lady Bulldogs hot roll of late, Santiago is quick to give the credit to her teammates doing their part to help the cause.
“Hindi lang dahil sa matankad ako kaya hindi nila (kalaban) ako maabot (sa block) kundi dahil na rin sa tulong nga mga teammates ko,” said Santiago, who in the offseason led NU to a title in the V-League and club team Foton in the import-laden Philippine Superliga Grand Prix. “Kasi sa tuwing nabibigyan sila napapalo nila so nalilito na ang mga blockers.”
Santiago edged Pablo and last week’s winner Alyssa Valdez of the undefeated Ateneo de Manila for the citation.